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Mr. Smith 33, Pennsylvania 27, America 22, Mr. Harper 19, Us 18, Texas 16, Ms. Jackson Lee 15, Mississippi 15, Michigan 15, Georgia 13, Mr. Conyers 12, U.s. 11, Ms. Velazquez 9, New York 8, Mr. Cohen 8, Mr. Peters 8, Tennessee 7, United States 7, Mr. Johnson 6, Washington 6,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    December 1, 2011
    1:00 - 5:00pm EST  

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strive for and the atelled disenfranchise. is despicable beyond words and should not be tolerated. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: thank you, mr. chairman. it is clear that what has happened here is there's been no response to many of the allegations of mismanagement that we have heard so far. it is clear on the things that have happened that the e.a.c. in particular, it is time for this to come to a conclusion. it is an agency whose average salary for its employees, which the employee size is more than doubled in the last -- since 2007, the average salary is $106,000 for this agency. . rond reagan said the closest thing on earth to eternal life is a temporary government program, and this was supposed to last for a period of three
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years. the national association of secretaries state in 2005, did a resolution, a bipartisan group, did a resolution saying, bring this to an end. they renewed that resolution again in 2010 and yet it remains. if we cannot get rid of an agency like the e.a.c., then we are never going to be able to get rid of anything up here. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. speaker, now i would like to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. lofgren: i rise in opposition to the bill. instead of focusing on jobs and helping middle class families, the republican leadership is hard at work today creating additional ways in which corporations and special interests can dominate our elections process. ending the presidential election
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campaign fund opens the door for large political spenders to enjoy an even greater role in the funding of political campaigns. the voluntary republic financial system for presidential campaigns was created in the early 1970's as a direct result of the corruption of watergate, the largiers political scandal of our generation, stopping croppings and appearance of croppings is as important today as it was during the nixon years. a level of spending by corporations and special interests since the supreme court decision in citizens united should give every american reason for concern. so do my republican colleagues really believe that more corporate and special interest money in politics is going to benefit in any way the 99% of americans who don't have lobbyists? the current public financial system for presidential elections has problems. most notably it has not kept pace with the cost of modern campaigns, so we should fix it instead of eliminating it. i would note that the republican national committee recently
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received $18 million from this fund. so if the republicans think it's such a bad idea, perhaps they should ask the r.n.c. to return the money. as for the election assistance commission, the e.a.c. is the only federal agency focused on improving federal election. this was an outgrowth of the disastrous process of the 2000 election. remember that 100 million votes were cast but it took the decision of the supreme court before a winner was declared. the experience left a black eye on our elections process. it's not something america should go through again. in the state and local budgets are cut, the value of this commission is going to grow. have there been problems at the e.a.c. -- i would ask for an additional 30 seconds. yes, there have. there have been problems and what should we do about it? we need oversight and reform.
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we shouldn't just abolish this commission because we are going backwards to the bad old days of inconsistency among voters. i urge my colleagues to focus on the economy, focus on jobs, and don't pass bills that give corporations and special interests even greater influence in our elections. i yield back. i thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: thank you, mr. chair. it is amazing that there is a reference, we need to if he cuss on jobs instead of doing something like this. if that's the case we passed about 25 bills this year out of the republican-led house that dealt with jobs, that dealt with the economy. we have done our job on that. and now it's sitting over in the senate who knows where or why. it's awaiting action. we have been doing those things, the tough decisions, the things
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that will create jobs if the senate and the white house will join with us on those things. so that is a -- simply not accurate to say that we haven't been focusing on jobs because we have done that since we started this year. and we will continue to do so and encourage and urge our colleagues over in the senate to bring these matters up. they include things that will help on overburdensome e.p.a. regs, with things that will deal with permitting and drilling in the gulf of mexico. things that will have a direct impact on our economy and jobs. it is clear, particularly on the e.a.c., that was created in 2002 after hava, help america vote act, after the bush-gore recount so we wouldn't have another hanging chad or butterfly ballot situation, and this agency administered over $3 billion worth of grants to the states for machines.
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when it was passed, it was designed to be a three-year agency and program. we are nine years into this. instead of trying to say, ok, we showed the chart a minute ago with $5.4 million worth of management costs, and yet only about a little over $3 million in program cost. and the grants for the machines, mr. chair, are now gone. and they are not there. we have the letter from the national association of secretaries of state which restates their position on the resolution to eliminate the e.a.c., done in 2005. again in 2010. again on the e.a.c. we have reports from different agencies. we have an i.g. report criticizing the management practices of the e.a.c. this report was done in march of 2010. we have a report from the e.a.c.'s financial records back
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in november of 2008 which i dealt with when i first got on the committee on house administration in early 2009. this report is an audit of the election assistance commission's fiscal year 2008 financial statements. the records were so mismanaged, this agency that the other side wants to keep instead of trying to make us more efficient, that -- it was so bad that the agency couldn't be audited. the records were too bad to tell them how bad it was. so that lengthy report is available to anyone who cares to read that. then we have a report from the office of special counsel that was done in 2009, the office of special counsel talks about having to settle a political discrimination case. an agency that's supposed to talk about fairness and helping
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in elections themselves gets sued for political discrimination. and one of those that created that problem is the one that voluntarily resigned and received unemployment benefits for a voluntary resignation. we have an organizational chart that shows that the e.a.c. included a special assistant to a vacant position. i can go on and on, mr. chairman, on the situation and the mismanagement of the e.a.c. it is clearly time to say -- and i understand there are some things that we need to keep these. we are saying, the essential functions of this group, send them on over to the s.e.c. and we can take care of those situations on testing and certification, make the process more efficient and save money for the taxpayers. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. chairman, i now would like to recognize the gentlelady from california, mrs. davis, for three minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: two minutes? mr. brady: three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. mrs. davis: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.r. 3463. it might sound surprising, but right behind jobs one of the top concerns my constituents contact me about is campaign reform. you'd think that campaign rules would be the very last thing people would think about when they are worried about their livelihoods, their mortgages, and their family's health care, but they know, they know that the electoral process is at the heart of everything their government can do for them. the american people are frustrated. they are frustrated by what i call supersized campaigns. it's all too much. it's too slanderous. it's too hard to tell who's paying for what and who's saying what. they feel that big donors, big corporations, and ideological
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groups are running the show and they are being left out. but the american people care. and they believe in we, the people. public financing gives the voice back to the middle class. in the elections assistance commission can help election officials better the process for voters. neither of these is perfect. right now we acknowledge that. but we should be improving rather than eliminating them. throwing away what public financing we have. what financing worked for every president from 1976 to 2004 and making it harder to bring election improvements together is a step in the wrong direction. rather than making it even harder for the average voter to make a difference, congress should be improving access to democracy by expanding public financing, assisting election
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officials, and increasing voting opportunities for all merps. -- americans. our people are our strength and we have no business shutting them out. the supporters of this bill say it will save us money, but in fact, mr. speaker, it will mean our democracy's up for sail. -- sale. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. chairman, may i make an inquire as to the time of time remaining on each side? the speaker pro tempore: you may. you have 16 1/2 minutes left. 15 1/2. the gentleman from pennsylvania has 20 1/2. mr. harper: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. barton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. barton: i thank the gentleman from mississippi for yielding and thank the gentleman from georgia for presiding in an even and fair fashion. one of the arguments that's been made about the e.a.c.,
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spreebling, -- mr. speaker, is that it's the federal election commission that ensures every american citizen's right to vote. if only that were true, mr. speaker. the national association of secretaries of state, which are the organizations in each state that oversee the elections, have called for the dissolution of the e.a.c. the committee has heard firsthand testimony from secretaries of state all across the country both in 2005 and again in 2010, the national association of secretaries of state have called for the dissolution of the e.a.c. if the organizations that are actually responsible in each state for holding the elections, mr. speaker, are asking that the federal agency that's supposed to help them should be dissolved, i think it would behoove the congress to listen to the states and in this case dissolve this commission.
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with that i yield back to the gentleman from mississippi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. chairman, i'd like to recognize the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from's is recognized for two minutes. -- the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. clay: i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for yielding. mr. speaker, there are ongoing attempts to suppress the valid legal vote of some communities in this country. earlier efforts to stop selected americans from voting such as literacy tests and poll taxes were overturned by this congress. but while the tadgetics of these people -- tactics of these people have changed, their strategy remains the same, intimidation, discourage, or otherwise prevent certain groups of americans -- american citizens from voting. current tactics include burdensome voter i.d. laws. outrageous registration requirements.
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dishonest inactive voter lists, and unlawful disenfranchisement of ex-offender. to these flagrant tactics, proponents of voter suppression have added more subtle aappropriation. including disinformation campaigns and behind the scenes quiet and unfair enpurging of voter rolls. now we are presented with their latest plan to deny certain americans their right to vote. the elimination of two programs whose sole aim is to ensure that every american's voice is heard in our election. the presidential election campaign fund and the election assistance commission are in need of strengthening not elimination. they help make sure that all voices can be heard and that all votes will be counted. i support improving these programs, but the only reason to
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want to eliminate them is to further suppress votes. the votes are the same groups who were targeted by jim crow laws decades ago. the votes are the same groups who are now targeted by inactive voter lists, and voter i.d. laws and all of the other new tactics designed for a single goal. voter suppression. i urge my colleagues to defeat this bill and defeat yet another attempt to stop american citizens from voting. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired the gentleman from mississippi. . >> i yield two -- mr. harper: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. sensenbrenner: i can't believe what i just heard from my friend from missouri. doing away with the presidential election campaign fund is not a jim crow law. i'll put my record alongside his on insuring voting rights
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to minorities as the author of the latest extension of the voting rights act and one who got the 1982 compromise passed and signed into law by president reagan. the presidential election campaign fund was destroyed three years ago by president and then-candidate barack obama. he refused to be bound by its restrictions, senator john mccain was, and he was put at a significant disadvantage in the general election campaign by running against candidate obama who rejected the election campaign fund's funds an raised huge and unlimited amounts of money. >> would the gentleman yield? mr. sensenbrenner: i have a limited amount of time. if i have time left i'll be happy to yield. this year, so as not to
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disadvantage themselves, none, that means none, of the republican primary candidates have signed up for presidential election campaign fund money. the obama money making machine is running all around the country and we see this in the newspapers, we hear it on television, and because the campaign fund would limit the amount of money that whomever the republican nominee, if they took these funds, could use in order to spread his message on what opaw ma ought to be replaced by the voters, we ought to just get rid of this fund altogether. it was destroyed three years ago by then-candidate obama. we might as well not spend any more taxpayer funds on it. may it rest in peace. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania.
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mr. brady: i would like to recognize the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. holt: i thank the gentleman. we already know that in 38 state there is is introduced legislation that would suppress the participation in the votes of young, minority, and elderly voters. now we see their allies here in congress trying to eliminate the only federal agency charged with improving the conduct of elections and making sure that every vote counts. if you like the direction of the state legislatures, you're going to be thrilled by the legislation before us today to close the election assistance commission. the voters vote -- the voter's vote should be behind a curtain of secrecy but the process by which registrations right hand elections are conducted should be transparent. if not, voters will cease to believe the voting is fair and their vote counts. let me remind my colleagues, there is nothing more crucial
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to democracy than the fairness and accountable of elections. democracy works only if citizens believe it does. the system must work and the people must believe in it. voting shouldn't be an act of blind faith. it should be an act of record. the e.a.c. helps maintain the integrity of the electoral process too many people across the country have lost confidence in the legitimacy of the election results, dismantling the e.a.c. would further erode that necessary faith in the process. we've discussed, several times, and others have talked about it, but if manipulating the outcome of elections occurs, how much easier will it be once the e.a.c. is eliminated? millions of americans are casting their votes now on un auditable voting machines and the results of most elections are not audited. eliminating the e.a.c. would increase the risk that the
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electoral process would be compromised by voter intimidation, by voter system irreregularities. can we afford to take that risk? certainly not. do we want problems to go undetected? i would hope not. les oversight, les standards, less test, fewer audits weaken ours democracy. abolishing the e.a.c. is the wrong way to go. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. chairman, may i make a further inquiry into the remaining time for each side. the speaker pro tempore: you may. you have 12 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from pennsylvania has 16 1/2. mr. harper: mr. chairman, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole, a distinguished member of the appropriations and budget committees and also has been heavily involved in this matter as a co-sponsor and also great work on trying to eliminate and
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bring to an end the presidential election fund. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for four minutes. mr. cole: i thank the speaker and thank the gentleman for yielding. the legislation before us actually does three important things. first, it eliminates an antiquated, outdated system of public financing. second it terminates an obsolete commission, and finally, and not incidentally, it actually saves money. something we talk a lot about around here but seldom actually do. when the presidential election campaign fund was actually created in 1973, it was during a time before things like facebook, youtube, twitter, widespread use of the internet did not exist. that's no longer the case today. today it's pretty easy to contribute money to a candidate a presidential candidate if you want to do it. i would advise anybody, regardless of their political persuasion, to simply type the name of the candidate that they
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like into the internet and wait and see what pops up. they'll have an immediate opportunity to donate to that individual. there's no need to take public money at a time when we're running trillion and a half dollar deficits and divert it to what is essential political welfare for candidates. absolute waste of money. it's so much a waste that our president who defends the system, but chose not to participate in the system. 2008, he did not participate, did not raise money this way. did not do it during the public campaign. actually broke precedent and frankly, a commitment he made earlier in the campaign and chose not to do it. and that's fine. that was his right. he was certainly more than adequately funded. his opponent, senator clinton, now cretary clinton, was also adequately funded. she did not use the public financing system. the one person who did, john mccain, was heavily outspent,
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although i don't think that had much to do with his defeat. i think honestly, americans know how to contribute to presidential candidates. they don't need the federal government letting them check off a portion of their taxes and divert it for that purpose. public participation in the system has declined radically. it's never reached even a third of american taxpayers willing to do this, peaked at 28%, and in 2009 was down to 7% of american taxpayers that chose to do it. we're not denying anybody the ability to participate. we we are giving very expensive welfare to presidential candidates and to political parties at a cost to the taxpayer when that cost can't be afforded. two weeks ago, we had something that occurred that honestly ought to concern everybody on this floor. i don't fault either party for it. but the democratic party and republican party both received $17 million for their conventions from the federal
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treasury of the united states. $17 million to two political parties, $ million in total to run their -- 34 million in total to run their conventions. who believe that's a needed expenditure. each of those party, i can tell you pause i used to be a chief of staff for one of them, will spend over $100 million on their conventions, they don't require federal help. it's a waste of time and money. as for the election assistance commea and i said that as a former secretary of state, this is a commission whose time as hom -- has come an gone. it currently spends over 50% of its budget on administration, not on direct assistance to the states. and the idea that state governments and stays who have been running elections for 200 years suddenly need the federal government to tell them how to do it and spend this kind of money is absurd.
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frankly, the national association of secretaries of states, which is the oldest public association of elected officials and appointed officials in the united states has twice called for the elimination of this. they don't feel the need for it. they certainly don't see that they're getting any assistance from it. so whatever good it did in the immediate aftermath of the 2000 election i think is now concluded. with that, i ask for an additional 30 seconds from the gentleman. mr. harper: i yield another minute to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. cole: i thank the gentleman for yielding. without putting too fine a point on it. this is a system an this is a commission who simply exist to solve problems that aren't problems. we have no problem funding presidential campaigns in the united states. there's plenty of money, probably too much money around. there doesn't need to be taxpayer money. nor do political 35er9s have -- parties have a problem funding
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their conventions, they can do it themselves. nor do we need a commission whose purpose has now passed into history and whose people that are supposed to -- entities supposed to serve the secretaries of state around the country have asked us to abolish. let's just finally prove we can get rid of outmoded programs, end the expenditures and actually save the taxpayer some money. in doing so, i can assure everybody on the floor that our democracy will remain healthy, our leches will be fair, and the american people in their wisdom will figure out which candidate to contribute to if they choose to contribute to any candidate at all. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. price, for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. price: mr. chairman, i rise for the third time this year to oppose a measure that would
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summarily repeal our system of funding for federal leches. once again the house majority seems intent on remaining the few remaining safeguards we have against the influence of special interests in politics following the supreme court's citizens united ruling. the fact that they are ostensibly bringing this forward ss a deficit reduction measure in order to pay for a bill to undermine workers' rights is the height of cynicism this bill before us today would destroy one of the most successful examples of reform that followed the -- followed -- followed the watergate scandal. dare we forget what that can dal was about? the group trying to elect the president breaking rules. at that time confidence in public government was dainls low. this was a voluntary program of public financing for president
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elections. to this day it stands as up with of the greatest steps we have take ton bring transparency to our election system. it's worked -- worked remarkably well, being used by every candidate from 1976 to 2004, and by john mccain in 2008. perhaps the best example's -- example of the program's success is ronald reagan who used it in all three of his campaigns, in 1976, 1980, and 1984. it shows the positive effects it's had on both parties. it illuminates the way in which the system benefits ways the candidates challenge the party's establishment and highlights the focus on small donations rather than big bucks for large clintors. note that this is no free ride no willy nily spending program. candidates must seek the support of thousand of small
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doe nos to prove their viability and only then do they receive matching funds. today, one could wish for a bipartisan effort to repair the system and restore its effectiveness. i don't know any policy that better exemplifies the maxim mend it, don't end it, than this one. earlier this year, congressman van hollen and i introduced a bill to do that, modernize the presidential public finance system and make it an attractive and viable option for presidential candidates. it would bring available funds into line with the increased cost of campaigns, adjust the program to the front-loaded primary calendar and enhance the role of small doe noes. it's been carefully deseened and deserves deliberation and debate. instead, we are faced with yet another republican attempt to open the flood gays for corporate cash and special interest influence to pour into our political system.
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with confidence in government at rock bottom and the perception of government corruption through the roof, why is the majority trying to return us to the dark difes water depate? let's instead restore and improve our public financing system, move on to real solutions to put our nation's fiscal house in order. let's not use valuable floor time to pass a bill that has no chance of becoming law. the american want us to get to work to revive the struggling economy and put people back to work. i you remember the majority to heed that call. get to work on passing appropriations bills, fixing medicare reimbursement, extending the payroll tax cut an patching the a.m.t. and re-authorizing the f.a.a. in time for families' holiday travel. i'm afraid these pleas are falling on deaf ears in these chambers these days. we need to get to work on the people's business, not on the flawed bill that threatens to
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allow big money to pay a larger role in our politics. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from mississippi. . the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i would like to recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. gonzalez. for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. gonzalez: thank you very much. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this bill in its entirety, but especially to that provision with attempts to eliminate the elections assistance commission. i need to address a few points that have been made by the proponents of this bill. i was there when this original bill came up for consideration years ago and i have been there for the subsequent hearings in the committee of jurisdiction. first of all when it comes to the secretaries of state, they have been opposed to the creation of the election assistance commission from its very beginning. this is nothing new.
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their renewal of opposition basically used a form letter that didn't even change the 2006 date. the 2010 opposition letter referred and still used the same letter of previous years. but the most important thing to point out is the secretaries of state have multifaceted responsibilities and obligations. one of them is to conduct elections. but each one of us in this body know who really runs an election and it's going to be your local election administrators. you and i and anybody involved in the electoral process knows that on election dayer' not going to find secretary of state personnel at the polling places. when the ballots are mailed for absentee voting, you are not going to find anyone from the secretary of state's office. they are not going to count the ballots. they are not going to be there. it is a local effort. and that's what the election assistance commission is doing. it was never meant to have a life span of three years. if you read the bill carefully, and mr. hoyer who will be taking
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the floor later, will remind us of the legislative history of that particular bill that created this commission. if we are to criticize them for an inordinate amount of their body being applied to personnel, then we must look in the mirrors as member of congress because i assure you because i also sit on a committee, obviously the same committee, that entertains the budget request of the different committees. and each one of those committees and individual members of congress will tell you that they spend a greater proportion of their budget on personnel than the election assistance commission. and there's good reason for it. it was never really intended to fully fund every effort at the local level. it's to give advice. that's why i have received in the past from local election officials, from maryland, texas, florida, and ohio, the local experience in texas in my county there was that we saved $100,000
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by the suggestions and recommendations that were issued by the commission. lastly, you criticize the commission for not functioning because it doesn't have a full body of commissioners. but whose fault is that? it's the individuals on the other side of the aisle that have blocked consideration -- that reminds me, when i was a lawyer we used to have an old joke about the individual defendant who was there charged with murdering his parents and at the end of the trial goes before the jury and asks for mercy because he's an or fan -- orphan. it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. 10 seconds. if you want to help your local election officials, vote no on this bad bill. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. chairman, i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. rokita, who is the distinguished
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member of the committee on house administration, former secretary of state for the state of indiana, and he also served as president of the national association of secretaries of state. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. rokita: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding time. listening to the prior comments i can't help but wonder if certain members of this body can't help but not do more than one thing at a time, but certainly secretaries of state and your local election officials can multitask. and they do an excellent job of executing the state's elections. i want to focus on the portion of the bill that eliminates the election assistance commission, mr. speaker, as has been said, i have a unique perspective on this. in 2005 as indiana secretary of state and serving as the president of the national association of secretaries of state, i co-authored the successful resolution that was talked about earlier to dissolve the e.a.c. after the 2006
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election. as the oldest organization of bipartisan elected officials in the nation, we renewed the call to dissolve the commission in 2010. and no, mr. speaker, i can assure you from the debates that we had in that organization it was not a form letter, it was not a form renewal. furthermore, the vote for the renewal was 24-2 with 13 republicans and 11 democrats calling for its dissolution. this is not a partisan issue. we recognized on a bipartisan basis that the election assistance commission cannot be justified on the grounds of fairness, justice, opportunity, or necessity. e.a.c. bureaucrats do not make elections fair. in fact, e.a.c. makes them less fair by producing biased, inaccurate reports on the state of elections in our nation and offering recommendations based on these junk studies. bureaucrats do not enfranchise voters. states and individuals do that.
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as our federal constitution dictates. giving un-elected, unaccountable bureaucrats in washington more power over elections does not lead to more just election outcomes. if anything, it interferes with the just outcome because these bureaucrats, many with an ideological axe to grind, face little or no accountability for their actions and they know it. voting is fundamental to our system and legitimacy of our government, ensuring qualified american citizens have an opportunity to vote is essential. the constitution tasks the states with execution and maintenance of elections not federal bureaucrats. like i said, mr. speaker, i believe states do an excellent job and by managing elections closer to the voters at the state and local level, we stand the best chance of ensuring opportunity for all and correcting injustice at the opportunity to vote is denied or interfered with. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i would now like to recognize the gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin, for two minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for two minutes. mr. langevin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, as a former secretary of state to the state of rhode island and now a member of the congress, i have serious concerns about this bill. mr. speaker, voter participation is the cornerstone of our democracy and a fundamental civic duty that empowers every citizen to affect change within our society. unfortunately many individuals with disabilities have been shut out of the voting process due to the lack of accessibility. that's among my particular concerns with this bill. we have made impressive strides in recent years to close that gap, and the election assistance commission established under the help america vote act, was an important part of that effort. as a member of congress who lives with a disability, co-founded the bipartisan disabilities caucus, and has worked at both the state and federal level to modernize and make accessible our voting systems, i find it unconscionable that the
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republican leadership is considering this bill to abolish the election assistance commission, an agency whose fundamental mission is to promote security, accessibility, and trust to our electoral process. could the e.a.c. use reforms? yes. but the republican solution of eliminating an agency with such an important mission is unnecessary. everyone, mr. speaker, should have full faith in our system of elections, including seniors, military members, minorities, and people with disabilities. that's exactly what the election assistance commission seeks to provide. no, mr. speaker, we have precious little time left before the end of this congressional session. instead of considering a bill that will only serve to erode america's faith in our democratcy, our time would be far better spent rebuilding it by focusing on job creation, getting this economy back on track. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and turn our attention to legislation that would extend tax relief for families and
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small businesses, reduce unemployment, and create greater economic stability. that is exactly what my constituents expect from me and that's exactly what the american people expect from this congress. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. lungren. he is the distinguished chairman of the house administration committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. lungren: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, h.r. 3463 will eliminate the presidential election campaign fund and election assistance commission. that's good news. the american people have been asking this congress to get serious about spending. begging us to take a critical look at government operations and get rid of the dead weight. mr. chairman, if there ever was
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-- mr. speaker, if there ever was a government program, government agency ripe for the cutting it is the presidential election campaign fund and election assistance commission. the election campaign fund is an unused government program only supported by a meager 7% of the american people. in other words, 9 % of the american taxpayers have opted out of participating in this program. candidates and nominees have routinely opted out of the system altogether. in 2008 we know then candidate barack obama designed public financing in the general election. in 2012 it is expected that neither general election candidate will participate, and no candidate has requested eligibility thus far in the election cycle. according to c.b.o. elimination of this program would save the american taxpayers $447 million over the next five years and return nearly $200 million to the public treasury for deficit reduction immediately. i know some people think $500
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million isn't much, where i come from that's a lot. we can eliminate something that the american people have rejected by a vote of 93-7. it seems to me to make sense. mr. chairman, the last congress the committee on house administration held hearings on the issue of taxpayer financing of campaigns. one of our witnesses asked this question, he says, if the voters are not willing to pay for the program, then why should it continue? as for the election assistance commission, this agency has been the subject of two hiring discrimination lawsuits, spends over 50% of its budget on administrative cost, and is asking this congress for $5.4 million to manage programs totaling $3.5 million. in short, mr. speaker, this bill before us eliminates an unused government program, shuts down an obsolete government agency, saves the taxpayers $480 million over five years, and returns almost $200 million to the
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treasury. how can we not vote for it? i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. speaker, could i inquire how much time we have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania has seven minutes. the gentleman from mississippi has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. brady: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd now like to recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: thank you. after $5.3 billion was spent in the 2008 federal elections, i never heard anyone utter a word that said the problem we face today in washington is that we need more private money in politics. never has anyone said to me, i wish the superrich had more influence over our government and elected officials, especially in campaigns for president and congress. never received a letter from a constituent that expressed a desire to get further away from one person, one vote, and move closer to one corporation, one
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vote. what i have heard from my constituents is a deafening demand to get money out of politics. this bill takes us in the opposite direction. we should be chasing the money changers out of the people's temple. not turning our government into an auction house. this legislation is upside-down. private financing of elections core roads our democratcy. private contributions to federal elections must end. private financing equals government in the private interest. public financing, the hope of government in the public interest. we need to restore democracy. and end private contributions. we shouldn't have any contribute shuns for special interest. we need government of the people, for the people, and by the people returned to this government. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. million brady: i'd now like to recognize the gentleman from
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ohio, mr. ryan, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. ryan: i thank the gentleman. let me just take this from 30,000 feet for a minute. and reiterate what the gentleman from ohio said. we have too much private money in the people's house. we can't get anything done now because it somehow may affect what wall street's doing. we have a china currency bill on the floor last year, 350 votes, 99 republicans, we can't even get it up for a vote now in the house because wall street doesn't want it. we are in dire straits with trying to balance our budget. we need to ask people making more than $1 million here to help us close this gap so we can reinvest back in our country. nothing's happening because wall street doesn't want it. we have oil and gas still getting benefits when profits are going through the roof. we can't close that loophole because the oil and gas industry doesn't want it closed. .
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there is too much private money in the people's house. we need public fuppeding of elections. let every citizen kick in 50 or 100 bucks. we have elections by letting people on the airwaves, making these discussions, having a little bit of money to do it. we have to reform this country no wonder we can't make investment in public education, public health, public infrastructure because the private interests are running the whole show here. >> mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from georgia, dr. gingrey, chairman of the subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. gingrey: maybe the president will listen to the advice of the gentleman from ohio and sign up for public financing for his re-election efforts but mainly i rise to support me efforts of my friends mr. harper of mississippi and mr. cole of oklahoma, to reduce federal
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spending by ending public financing for campaign and terminate this assistance commission. presidential campaigns are becoming increasingly expense i have to the tune of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, the idea of having taxpayers contribute matching funds to them is lewd crowd. this practice -- ending this prackties would save $617 until over 10 years. as a member of the me on jurisdiction over e.a.c., the house administration committee, i've learned firsthand that this agency has outlived -- outlived its usefulness, mismanaged its resources, costing we the taxpayer millions of dollars a year. the election assistance commission's budget request for 2012 devoted 51.7% of its budget to management and overhead costs. let's eliminate this commission and support this bill and i
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yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'd like to recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland, the distinguished whip is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. i thank the gentleman for yielding. first of all, we ought to be talking about jobs. the contention that this bill funds bills that are about jobs is spurious in my opinion and no economist, in my opinion, will assert that that is a fact. we ought to be dealing with jobs. but what are we dealing with? i know of what i speak. i tell the gentleman from georgia, i understand, as a member of the house administration committee for, i think, 15 years, i, along with bob ney, was sponsor of the
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help america vote act which created the election assistance commission. i know something about the election assistance commission. it was created by -- because in the year 2000 we had a disastrous election which was resolved, finally, but not very acceptably by most people. whether your candidate won or lost. so the assistance commission was created for the purposes, for the first time in history, of having some federal presence in the oversight of federal elections. not mandatory, but advisory. now what we see, frankly, throughout america, in republican-controlled legislatures in many, many states, is an effort to make voting more difficult. to, in my opinion, suppress the vote. to require more and more
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documentation of people who have already registered to vote. and claiming problems that exist that do not exist. now if you want to up the -- to obfuscate the election process, if you want to suppress the vote, if you want to make it more difficult what is one of the things you want to co-? eliminate the election assistance commission. whose responsibility it is to advise and counsel on best practices to assure that every american not only has the right to vote but is facilitated in casting that vote and making sure that that vote is counted. that's what the election assistance commission does. what do they want to do with the elections assistance commission responsibility? transfer it to the federal lech commission. whose sole responsibility is to oversee the flow of money into elections. they neither have the expertise
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nor, frankly, do of this the time. they hardly have the time to do what they're supposed to do right now. now frankly, the bush administration did not fund the election assistance commission very robustly. and like every agency, it requires an should have proper oversight and should in my view be more vigorous in the carrying out of its responsibilities. that is not, however, a reason for eliminating it. the only reason for eliminating it is to make voting more obscure, less oversight, and less assurance to our citizens that they not only have the right to vote but that a vote will be cast. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the time he so graciously gave me and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. harper: mr. speaker, may i make an inquiry for the time
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remaining on each sides. the speaker pro tempore: one behalf minutes for the gentleman from mississippi, two and a half minutes for the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: we only have one speaker to close, if i could reserve the balance of my time until the democratic leader gets here. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, the distinguished member -- a distinguished member of the judiciary committee and former judge. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. listen, let's cut to the chase. this is a tax credit for people who want to contribute to the president's campaign fund. we were told you can check this box and it doesn't cost you anything. no, but it takes 40-plus
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million dollars a year away from the fund that could be used for other things, including social security, things like that, and it gives it to the president's election campaign fund. i stand with our president, barack obama, on this issue, who found that fund is worthless, it's an impediment to getting elected, so i stand with president obama saying, let's get rid of the fnd and not use it anymore and let the $200 million in that fund go to something helpful instead of being an impediment to being elected president. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. speaker, we're prepared to close. thank you. in close, the presidential campaign fund currently has other $190 million. tens of thousands of americans put that money there.
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they wanted their money to go to this purpose. we would be fooling an deceiving our very own citizens should we -- should we pass this bill. they put that money there to be able to have the small say in who they want to support and put it toward campaigns. we would be giving it back to the treasury. this should be wrong. we would be fooling the american people. we would be telling them, we told you to check a box off and give us x amount of dollars for a campaign and now $100 million, we're going to take, of the money we told you check off, we are no longer going to use for that purpose. that's wrong. it's not right. it's deception. that is why i urge a no vote on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. speaker, it's been told that we haven't done anything about jobs. here we have a card that lists 25 different bills we've passed
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that help on the economy, energy, great job creators. yet the complaint has been that the e.a.c. is going to -- is not dealing with those issues. i'll point out that the members that have spoken on the other side of the aisle that this is something that is not appropriate, that it's going to disenfranchise voters, should remember they all voted for this in 2002 when it had its three-year provision to sunset after that. so i think that argument will not work and in addition the e.a.c. has no regulatory or enforce. authority. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this important leg and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's -- all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 477, the previous question is ordered on the bill. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it.
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third reading. the clerk: a bill to reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions and by terminating the election assistance commission. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 1c of rule 19, further consideration of h.r. 3463 is postponed. pursuant to clause 12 it is a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess of a period less than 15 minutes.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman tim griffin represents arkansas's second district as a republican. good morning. your first term in congress. one of the issues you're working on is a proposal to eliminate the pension benefit offered to members of congress. why?
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calguest: i think the broader issue we need to be addressing is civil servants and employees. we cannot give to that issue. i do not believe we have credibility on that issue unless we first addressed our own house. -- address our own house. i turned down by congressional pension. i took myself out of the system when i got here. the amount of money represented is a very small piece of the budget. i feel that, to address the bigger piece of the budget, pensions for federal employees, we have to deal with our own. host: when you came to congress as a freshman, was this something that you thought about before? was this a long-held belief? i talked about this on
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the campaign trail. i talked about whether i would take a congressional pension. that led me into the broader issue of dealing with pensions for members of the house and senate. again, i want to emphasize, for me, this is not a matter of a moral judgment. this is simply a matter of what we can afford to do. there is an interesting editorial in the "wall street journal" today about american airlines and how the benefits of system that they had in place contributed to their bankruptcy. same with chrysler, same with general motors. if you look at the amount of money involved with congressional pensions, it is relatively small. it is in the millions. when you get into pensions for the broader civil service -- civil servants, federal employees, you are talking about billions and billions. if you fast forward to 2065, you
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are talking about almost $1 trillion deficit with regard to federal employee pensions. host: here is a story that our guest congressman -- guest, congressman griffin, is talking about. guest: i think if you look at the last paragraph, it basically talks about how a lot of the pension systems and benefit systems that are still in place today, both in the united states, europe, and elsewhere, were fashioned during a different time, under different fiscal and economic circumstances. as i like to point out, we are not talking about trying to reform or eliminate benefits
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that most in the private sector get. to the contrary, in the private sector, about 20% of workers get pensions. 80% of public employees get pensions. what this article points out, if you look at some of these companies, the pension system was a big part of their financial problems. if you look at what is going on in europe, with greece, italy, some of the other countries, particularly in southern europe, you see that a big driver of some of the fiscal problems is, in fact, the defined benefits that european governments have been giving over the years. host: looking at what is happening in the u.k. right now, here is a story from " usa today -- from "usa today."
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is there a danger in gouging too much and going too far? guest: here is a distinction i think i would make. if you wait too long as a country to deal with your fiscal problems, then the cuts and the changes and the forms that have to be made impact people now relying on them. if you are able to deal with the problem early enough, then you can simply not impact people currently relying on the system and deal with the next generation. for example, my proposal, in terms of pensions -- and also, i have not introduced legislation on federal employee pensions yet, but the discussion i am having, generally, i do not
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impact anybody currently affected. i grandfather in people that are relying on these programs, and that is the right thing to do. for example, someone read something about my legislation. they called up my office and said, do not take away my particular benefit. what i say is, we are not even talking about anybody currently working for the federal government. what we're talking about is getting ahead of the curve, reforming for the next generation, for the folks that have not even graduated from college yet or have not even started working for. the for. -- have not even started working for the federal government. you are not pulling the rug out from those who have built their retirement security around the federal pension, for example. what we're talking about is, grandfather all those people in.
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they are not impacted. that is a big contrast. they waited so long in europe that the changes have to be drastic. they in europe have to make changes and impacts people now who are currently relying on this -- and impact people now who are currently relying on this. if we get ahead of this, we can propose changes for the next generation. we can reform medicare to save it. we're talking about people who are currently on medicare, about to be on medicare. those people will see no changes. the same here with these pensions. if you are in the federal government, this does not apply to you. we're talking about saving the system for the next generation. host: congressman tim griffin is our guest, republican, arkansas, second district. let's get to the bones and hear
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from tony on our democrat line in atlanta and -- phones naand hear from tony on our democrat line in atlanta. caller: good morning. pensionsthink thie are sustainable. you are right to make reference to europe. i think that is part of the problem as well. i have one question. how widespread is the problem of congressmen who are what i call "insider trading"? i knowse 1-c of rule 19, further consideration of h.r. 3463 will now resume. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: h.r. 3463, a bill to reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions and by terminating
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the election assistance commission. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? mr. beneficiaryon: i am in its presents form. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. bishop of georgia moves to recommit the bill h.r. 3463 to the committee on house administration with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the following amendment. add at the end of the following new section, section 207, protections for elderly, disabled, and military voters. notwithstanding any provision of this act or any amendment made by this act, to the extent that the election assistance commission is responsible for the administration or enforcement of any of the following provisions of law as of the commission termination date described in section 1004-a. help america vote act of 2002, as added by section 201-a any
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successor to the commission shall remain responsible for the administration or enforcement of such provisions after such date. one, any provision of law relating to the rights of the elderly to vote and cast ballots and elections for federal office. two, any provision of law relating to the rights of the elderly and other individuals who are registered to vote in elections for federal office to obtain absentee ballots in such elections. three, any provision of law relaitying -- relating to the access of elderly, disabled, or other individuals in polling places in elections for federal office, including the americans with disabilities act of 1990. four, any provision of law relating to the protection of the rights of members of the uniformed services and overseas citizens to vote and cast ballots in elections for federal office, including the uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act. five, any other provision of law
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relating to the protection of right of citizens of the united states to vote in elections for federal office, including the voting rights act of 1965. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. bishop: mr. speaker and my colleagues, i offer a final amendment to the bill which if adopted will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. instead, the bill would proceed to final passage as amended. the purpose of my amendment is simple, it deals with one of the most valuable rights as american citizens, it is the right which many americans throughout the course of our history have shed blood, sweat, and tears to protect, clg our colleague, my dear friend, and representative john lewis of georgia. he marched from selma to montgomery and endured billy clubs, horses, and tear gas to preserve this sacred right, the right to which i'm referring is the right to vote as enshrined in the 14th amendment to the
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constitution and further protected in the landmark voting rights act of 1965, and the help america vote act of 2002 and various other measures. today nearly five decades after the voting rights act was signed into law and nearly 10 years since the help america vote act, there is still an unprecedented attack on voting rights in states across this country. yet the underlying legislation before the house today would abolish one of the key provisions of the help america votes act, the election assistance commission, which was designed to avoid a repeat of the turmoil surrounding the 2000 presidential election in florida where problems with absentee and military ballots played a large role and led to many of these ballots not being counted. if the commission is abolished it will undermine american's faith in the integrity of our elections. according to the brennan center for justice, more than five
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million americans in 2012 could be adversely-i impacted by laws that tighten or -- adversely impacted by laws that tighten or restrict voting that were put into effect just this year. the numbers larger than the margin of victory in two of the last presidential elections. seniors, disabled, and our nation's veterans are now being turned away from the polls for not having the full identification. reforms like early voting and same-day voter registration are being rolled back. mr. speaker, this situation should not be happening in the united states of america today. my final amendment therefore is simple. it states that any successor to the election assistance commission shall remain responsible for the administration or enforcement of laws relating to rights of the elderly, disabled, members of the uniformed services, and overseas citizens to vote and cast ballots in elections of federal office. in signing the voting rights act of 1965, president lyndon
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johnson said that the vote is the most powerful instrument ever designed by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because we are different from other men. if this final amendment is approved, we can continue to tear down walls of injustice and ensure that our democracy is opened for all americans to deliberate, to participate, and engage with each other. i urge my colleagues to vote yes and i yield the balance of my time to my colleague, representative marcia fudge of ohio. ms. fudge: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker and my colleagues, there is no doubt that a concerted voter suppression effort is under way in this nation. abolishing the election assistance commission, an agency charged with ensuring that the vote of every american counts, is just another step in the voter suppression effort and would completely remove oversight of the most important process in our democracy.
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does it make sense to remove oversight at a time when republican-led legislatures across this nation are passing laws to obstruct voting? no, it absolutely does not. in the first three quarters of 2011, 19 new state laws and two executive actions were enacted to limit the ability of american citizens to vote. they would make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012. many of the bills, including one signed into law in my home state of ohio, include the most drastic voter restrictions since before the voting rights act of 1965. seniors will be denied their right to franchise, the disabled to find it more difficult to vote, minorities and students will face more challenges than ever before. soldiers, honorably serving our country, will be left with their absentee ballots uncounted. and let's not forget the people
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who died for our right to vote. people were slain to create the rights we enjoy today. this determined effort is really about targeting a specific population of eligible voters to change the outcome of the 2012 elections. plain and simple, h.r. 3463 is yet another voter suppression tactic. join me today in supporting this final amendment to guarantee the right of every american citizen to cast their vote. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi seek recognition? mr. harper: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i'm amazed that an argument could be made that in any way the elimination of the e.a.c. would result in disenfranchising any voter. we all believe that every person who should vote that needs to vote, that's allowed to vote, wants to vote, should be allowed to do so. i'd like to point out that all of those speaking in opposition
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that were here in 2002 when hava passed voted for hava, and in hava it contained the provision it created the e.a.c. which was only supposed to last for three years. this is not a complicated list to do away with this. does that mean when they voted for this in 2002 that they were trying to disenfranchise voters? obviously not. no-no way is this intended to do -- in no way is this intended to do anything than clean up an agency which has an average employee salary of $106,000 a year, been sued for political discrimination, that cannot be corrected but needs to be eliminated. i urge my colleagues to vote against this motion to recommit and to support this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. harper: yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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the noes have it. the motion is not agreed to. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, i ask the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote theys are 190. the nays are -- the motion is not adopted.
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the ayes are 190. the nays are 236. the motion is not adopted. the question is on the passage of the bill. those in favor will say aye. those opposed will say no. the ayes have it. for what purpose does the member from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. brady: i ask for recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 235 and the nays are 190. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 527. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 477 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for
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consideration of house -- h.r. 527. the chair appoints the gentleman from california, mr. denham, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 527 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend chapter 6 of title 5, united states code, commonly known as the regulatory flexibility act, to ensure complete analysis of potential impacts on small entities of rules, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour with 40 minutes equally divided by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the judiciary. and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the
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committee on small business. the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the gentleman from missouri, mr. graves, and the gentleman from new york, ms. velazquez, each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i believe that the house is not in order. the chair: the house will be in order. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, america's economic recovery
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remains sluggish with the unemployment rate still at 9%. jobs are the key to economic recovery and small businesses are the primary job creators in america. a study from the small business administration found that regulations cost the american economy $1.75 trillion annually or over $15,000 per household. >> mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take your discussions outside. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, while job creators suffer under the weight of these regulations, federal employees are busy writing even more to implement new laws like obamacare and dodd-frank. the study found that the cost of regulatory compliance is
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disproportionately higher for small businesses. this hurts their ability to create jobs for americans. last month a gallup poll found that small business owners said that, quote, complying with federal regulations, end quote, is the most important problem they face. on february 8, 2011, i introduced h.r. 527, the regulatory flexibility improvements act of 2011, to provide urgently needed help to small businesses. mr. graves and mr. coble are original co-sponsors look with the bill's 24 additional co-sponsors. this bill primarily reinforces the regulatory flexibility act of 1980 and the small business regulatory enforcement and fairness act of 1986. it only requires agencies to do what current law and common sense dictate they should be doing. current law requires agencies to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis so
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agencies will know how it affects small businesses before it is adopted. but the government accountability office has found in numerous studies that agencies are not always adhering to these laws. for example, current law allows an agency to avoid preparing regulatory flexibility analysis if the agency head certifies that the new rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. but these terms are not defined in the law and agencies routinely take advantage of this and fail to prepare any analysis. the bill fixes this problem by requiring the small business administration to define these terms uniformerly for all agencies. it requires all agencies to justify a certification in detail and to give the legal and factual grounds for the certification. and this bill restricts agencies the ability to waive
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the flexibility act's requirements. the legislation also requires agencies to document all economic impacts, direct and indirect, that a new regulation could have on small businesses. agencies already must account for indirect economic impacts on the national environmental policy act. small businesses deserve the same level of scrutiny. this bill assures that small businesses will have a voice in the regulatory process. currently only three agencies, they must consult with small business advocacy review panels before issuing new major regulations. building on this, the bill requires all agencies to use advocacy review panels. equally important, this bill strengthens requirements that agencies review and improve existing regulations whenever possible to lower the burden on
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small business. it enhances the small business administration's ability to comment on and help shape major rules. it assures that the law is uniformally implemented so they can't interpret their way out of its requirements and the bill improves judicial review. some critics of regulatory reform may claim this bill undermines agencies' ability to issue new regulations. on the contrary, the bill only strengthens the existing law with carefully tailored commonsense reforms. especially in light of current economic conditions, this bill is a timely and logical step to protect small businesses from overregulation. like the regulatory flexibility act of 1980 and the small business regulatory enforcement fairness act of 1996, the regulatory flexibility improvements act of 2011 regulars that -- recognizes that it depends on job creators, not regulators.
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the economy is already on shaky footing. it is more important than ever for regulators to look before they leap to impose more regulations. i urge my colleagues to support the bill, and i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. i would just like to point out that the crane study referred to already by the distinguished chairman of the committee apparently hasn't found out that it's been held in error in a number of ways, but mostly by the crane study people themselves who said that their
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analysis was not meant to be a decisionmaking tool for lawmakers or federal regulatory agencies to use in choosing the right level of regulation. in other words, the study is flawed because it fails to account for any benefits of regulation so that i -- i want everybody to feel that this correction about $1.75 trillion has been thoroughly debunked by not only c.r.s. but other authorities as well. now, this debate follows a number of pieces of legislation that we are considering. it's sort of a regulation tidal wave or anti-regulation tidal
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wave. h.r. 310, regulatory accountability, h.r. 10, which we will see soon, the raines act, and h.r. 527, the bill before us now, the regulatory flexibility improvements act. now, it's strange to say that this trio of safety-killing legislation would make it harder to control and make safe our products that we count on. under the law presently, rulemaking must make an analysis for every new rule
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that would have significant economic impact on small businesses. among other things the bill would repeal the authority that allows the agency to waive or delay this analysis in response to even an emergency. it's hard to imagine how the bill under consideration would make regulations more cumbersome , would take longer, would risk national emergencies and would lose a lot of the safety and health protections that we now enjoy. i feel that there hasn't been careful consideration of what
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the real final goal is. now, "the wall street journal", no enemy of big business, said, and quote, the main reason united states companies are reluctant to step up hiring is scant demand rather than uncertainty over government policies. and so even the business community recognizes that the big problem about our economy is not that rules are tying up businesses but that we don't have enough people buying because they don't have enough jobs. to create the demand. and so what we are doing here today, if you examine it carefully, as many on our committee on the jirnary have
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done, you will find -- judiciary have done, you will find that the safety standards of which we are really very proud of are going to be compromised in a very embarrassing way. regulations don't kill jobs, they save lives. there are plans under way, this is one of them, here in the house to undermine the regulatory process that guarantees the health and the safety of millions of americans. i urge all of the members of the house to carefully consider the direction of this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i yield five minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coburn, who is the chairman of the
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courts, commercial and administrative law subcommittee of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. kobe kobe mr. chairman, i thank the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, for having yielded to me. mr. chairman, those who oppose -- mr. coble: mr. speaker, those who oppose h.r. 527 insist that those of us who support it are well to -- willing to compromise health standards. such criticism is not justified. we simply are refining the process. excessive regulations and bad regulations serve no good purpose. my district is not unlike many others. we're still suffering from the recession and while we once claimed many manufacturing and producing distinctions, much of our manufacturing has either disappeared or gone to other places. bad regulations don't help matters, they create unnecessary costs, uncertainty for employers and do not improve public health or safety and they are particularly burdensome for small businesses.
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two critical laws that help ensure regulators will take into account the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses are the regulatory flexibility act and the small business regulatory enforcement fairness act. and in essence these laws require agencies to conduct impact analysis of proposed rules on small businesses. unfortunately regulators routinely utilize waivers and exceptions for both laws and promulgate regulations without taking into account their economic impact on small businesses. the regulatory flexibility act and the small business regulatory enforcement fairness act do not block the flow of federal regulations. they rather help guide it. we need regulations and small businesses need regulations but the regulations must be effective and efficient or they can do more harm than good. h.r. 5274 improve regulation by requiring agencies to conduct economic impact analysis of
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proposed regulations on small businesses before they are implemented. in doing so, it will enhance the basic requirements of the regulatory flexibility act and the small business enforcement fairness act and extend the advocacy review panel requirements to all agencies including all of the independent agencies. the administrative procedures act was not intended to create a regime whereby executive agencies could -- would implement regulations without recourse. fortunately, though countless situations where agencies have implemented rules and regulations that are unnecessary , redundant or unjust fide finally costly. h.r. 527 will help ensure that agencies do not overlook the critical interests of small businesses and help prevent agencies from promulgating regulations. finally the congressional budget office estimates that h.r. 527 will cost $80 million between
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2011 and 2016. all of that may not be a quantifiable means to assess the benefits of h.r. 527 from the prospective of a small business, they are indeed priceless. also, it's important to know that among many others, the national taxpayers union, the national association of independent business, the united states chamber of commerce and the national association of manufacturers have endorsed h.r. 527. h.r. 527 is critical for small businesses, mr. chairman, and will not impede the ability of agencies to promulgate regulations. this is good government legislation, we do not need more regulation, we need better regulations, which is exactly what h.r. 527 will achieve and i urge support and final passage of this bill and thank the gentleman from texas again for having yielded and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is
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recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to the ranking member of the courts commercial law and administrative subcommittee, steve cohen of tennessee, five minutes. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for five minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank the ranking member for the time. this bill amends the regulatory flexibility act of 1980. and what it does is requires agencies to engage in so much analysis and so much new procedures that it basically befuddles the agencies to bring forth any rules in the future. it is elimination by burdensome regulation and while it doesn't say they're eliminating rules, that's the effect of it. it subjects all major rules and other rules that have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small ebtities to review by small business review panels. the cumulative effect of this and other changes in h.r. 527
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will be to undermine the ability of agencies to effectively regulate consumer health and product safety, environmental protection, workplace safety and financial services industries' misconduct, among other critical concerns. you know, we talk about small businesses and small businesses are important and they create more jobs than any other sector of our economy. but small businesses are made up of human beings. and human beings also, all human beings, even if they're small businesses, to paraphrase mitt romney who said, corporations, they are people, small businesses, they are people, too. and small businesses are concerned about consumer health and safety because they are the victims of it. the product safety. and environmental protection and workplace safety and food and drug safety. and certainly financial services misconduct that almost brought this country to its knees in what could scr been a depression. but -- could have been a depression but for the work of the great president and the congress that worked with him at that time. this bill does little to help small businesses shape or comply
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with federal regulations. right now we can take for granted that the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the places we work, the plane wes fly in, the cars we drive and the bank accounts where we put our savings are going to be safe because we have strong regulation. but if enacted this h.r. 527, it will be harder, much more difficult, maybe impossible to provide those protections for future generations. h.r. 527 is based on the well intentioned but false premise that regulations result in economically stifling costs. in particular, proponents of h.r. 527 and of antiregulatory legislation generally of which we've seen an abundance in this congress repeatedly fight a debunk study by economists which made the ridiculous claim that federal regulations oppose $1.75 trillion cost to the economy. ridiculous? why, you say? because they even added and the congressional research service said it failed to account for any benefits of regulation. there are indeed benefits of regulation. and great ones. in the office of bens and budget
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say benefits outweigh cost. moreover the study was never intended to be a decision making tool for lawmakers to use in choosing the right level of regulation. but they still use that as the basis for this law. so let's focus on the real facts. h.r. 527 will bring agency rule making to a halt because of multiple bureaucratic lairs of review and analysis. it is de facto, end of regulations. as a colleague of mine here in congress, of the previous congresses from the state of new york, and a republican, and long time chair of the house sciences committee recently warned, this measure ignores history, newt gingrich, ignores history, lauding the system with additional reviews based on previous efforts that have slowed progress while helping nobody. second, the bill clearly presents a serious threat to public health and safety for all americans. it does this by eliminating the emergency authority that currently you a allows agencies to -- currently allows agencies
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to delay analysis. such as in emergencies. we've experienced all of these. the priority is to end emergencies and have the emergencies' agencies to say, sorry wecks can't do this, we have to conduct regulatory analysis first before we aid the american people. 52k7 is simply chalk full of crafty provisions -- provisions to slow down rule making. requiring panels to review rules promulgated by all agencies, not just for the three agency. moreover it would require review panels for all major rules, not just those that have a significant economic impact on substantial number of small entities. and this bill would force agencies to engage in seemingly endless, wasteful and speculative analysis including assessment of all reasonable, foreseeable, indirect economic effects of a proposed rule. i think we may see agencies purchasing crystal balls so they can comply with this inane
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requirement of looking into the future. as any first year law student would know, it can take years of costly and time consuming litigation to find out what is reasonably foreseeable and what is indirect. where is mr. paulsgraph? while adding opportunities for industry, h.r. 527 provide noes assistance to business to comply with federal regulations which is what small business really needs. for those of us who should be worried blt national deficit this bill has a hefty price tag. the most conservative estimates, $80 million. at a more realistic estimate is $291 million, over a five-year period. h.r. 527, like h.r. 3010, the other antiregulatory bill, mr. ranking member, may have i -- may i have another two minutes? the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional two minutes. mr. cohen: thank you. h.r. 527, like 3010, which we'll consider today or this week, is simply a wolf in sheep's
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clothele. what is described as commonsense revisions to current law, it would overhaul the rule making process, threatening agencies' ability to ensure precautions. i oppose this bill and urge my colleagues to do so also. the consume at thattive effect of these and -- cumulative effect of these and other bills would undermine ability of agencies to conduct environmental protection, financial service and misconduct and others. right now we can take these for granted. this is a dangerous bill and i would ask our members to vote against it and to think about the safety of the public and the future. small businesses are people, as mr. romney said about corporations. and those people also suffer from lack of regulation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabet, a senior member of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman from ohio voiced for two minutes. mr. chabot: i thank our distinguished chair-more -- chairman for yielding the time. mr. chairman, when i talk to small business owners back in my
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district in cincinnati and southwest ohio, i continue to hear the same thing over and over again. overbearing regulations are crushing their ability to grow and create jobs. and that's what we are supposed to be about, is getting this economy moving and getting people back to work again. but the regulations are just crushing them. over the last year, however, the obama administration has enacted more than 3,500 new rules and regulations and they have another 4,000 pending. so rather than reduce the regulations, they're talking about putting on even more. mr. chairman, small businesses in this country are struggling. unemployment is at record levels an our economy is showing little or no signs of improvement. we must pass legislation that reduces red tape and reduces
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burdensome regulations. this bill will reform the rule-making system and provide much-needed regulatory relief to small businesses. if president obama is serious about job creation, he must sign this bill. small businesses are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming cost of compliance that his administration has put on our nation's job creators. if congress wants to give the american people a gift this christmas season, let it be regulatory relief and the jobs that will result. i yield back the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i'm pleased to yield to a distinguished member of our committee, judy chu of california. i yield her one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. chu: i rise in opposition to the so-called regulatory fleckable act this bill show
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house out of touch the house leadership is not only with the american people but with america's small businesses. a recent poll conducted by the hartford financial group asked small businesses to name their biggest barrier to success. despite the majority's claim, do you know how many cited government rules and regulations as the biggest barrier? just 9%. instead a majority of -- a majority a vast majority, in fact, 59%, said they struggle most with finding qualified talent. it's clear this bill does nothing to knock down barriers and help the majority of small businesses with their greatest need. instead, it slows down the regulation process and stops government from bad consumer products, dirty air or water that could make them sick or gross misconduct. our smail businesses don't have time for this nonsense. we should be working on a bill that creates jobs an helps
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small businesses. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, a former district judge and senior member of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, when i meet with with small business owners back in southeast texas, the one thing they always tell me is that they are not comfortable with expanding their businesses or hiring new employees because of the federal regulators. we just don't know what the federal government is going to do next, is what i often hear. an considering that the code of federal regulations is currently over 150,000 pages long, no wonder they are saying that they cannot plan for the future. mr. chairman, do we really need more than 150,000 pages of regulations to be scattered
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across the fruited plain? good thing the regulators weren't around to draw up regulations on the 10 commandments. no telling what that would look like. anyway a recent gallup poll found regulation and red tape is the most important problem currently facing small business owners. that's right, not the economy, but red tape. why are we allowing the regulators to administratively pass many unnecessary rules that destroy this economic system. unnecessary regulations hurt all american businesses, but it hurts the small businesses the most. it's not easy for a mom and pop shop to hire a legal department to navigate through the ever-growing list of federal regulations. that may be a-- regulations that may be applicable to their small business. in fact, small businesses spend 36% more per employee, per year, complying with federal
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regulations than large businesses do. this legislation will help the problem by requiring that federal agencies analyze the impact of a new regulation on small business before adopting the regulation. once a mom and pop shop goes out of business, there's often no going back. regulators and elitist bureaucrats in washington, d.c. do not always know what is best for people who own a small business. many of these regulators have never opened a small business or even understand capitalism. they have never signed the front of a paycheck but yet they make rules. congress needs to ensure that we do not overregulate america to death and self destruct our economic system. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: members of the house, it is important for us
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to realize who else has difficulty in supporting a bill that ends up creating unsafe products, promotes dirty air, and other kinds of harms to our citizenry. the american lung association is opposed to h.r. 527. the environmental defense fund is opposed to this bill. the national women's law center does not support this bill. public citizen is opposed to it. the union of concerned scientists are opposed to it. and indeed, a total of more than 70 organizations have all
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written, urging us to very carefully consider what we're doing here today. it's absolutely critical and very important that we understand that there is no evidence, credible evidence that regulations depress job creation. now this is great rhetoric, but we're passing laws here today. and the majority's own witness before the house judiciary committee agrees with us. christopher demuth, who appeared before the house judiciary committee on behalf of the american enterprise institute stated in his prepared testimony that the focus on jobs can lead to
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confusion in regulatory debates and that the employment effects of regulation, while important, are indeterminate. he can't figure it out. and he was a pretty good witness for our position that regulations have no discernable impact on job creation. if anything, regulations may promote job growth and put americans back to work. one alliance, the blue green alliance, notes, and i quote, studies on the direct impact of regulations on job growth have found that most regulations result in modest job growth or have no effect. and economic growth has consistently surged forward in concert with these health an
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safety protections. the clean air act is a perfect example of the economy has grown 204% theap private sector job creation has expanded 86% since it was passed in 1970. and so, my colleagues, regulation and economic growth can go hand in hand. we recently observed that 40 years of success with the clean air act has demonstrated the strong environmental protections and strong economic growth go hand in hand. what's in this bill is a provision that every regulation change would have to come back through the congress. it would be unthinkable. that we could add this to our
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schedule, especially if there was a health emergency that required a rapid passage. and so, i want every member of this house to examine the grossly different analysis --age cease that are being made here and come to your own conclusion. i think if you do, you'll realize that regulations have no discernable impact on job creation. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: how much time remains on each side. the chair: the gentleman from texas has 1/2 minute the gentleman from michigan has 3 1/2 minutes. mr. smith: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. manzullo, a member of the financial services committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. manzullo: thank you.
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this is one of the most important bills we passed in congress. i'm amazed at what i hear if the other side. we're over here endangering safety. we're poisoning water. we're doing everything we can to the workplace. that's not what this bill is about. all this bill says is when you put in a regulation, at least have some type of basis so that the people impacted by it know where to go from there. have some good, sound science. have an economic impact study. let me give you five ince it's as, specifically. talk to the doctors today about all the regulations impacting them and you'll hear the complaints about spending more time on paperwork than with their patients. talk to the banks. i was talking to a small banker, only 19 employees. two little banks in my district, they had to hire a full-time compliance officer just because of dodd frank and they didn't do one thing wrong
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to bring about this economic collapse. and now the farmers. e.p.a. is going to regulate cow manure under circla as opposed to the present rules. several years ago, this house passed the clean air act amendments of 1990. one was something called the employee commute option that said that counties around chicago had to have something called the employee commute option, forced car pooling. one county was mchenry county and i had to work with representative backman for two, two and a half years to come up with a reasonable interpretation, correcting language, make sure the people in that county weren't strapped with that mandate and at the same time did not compromise the quality of the air. the hope scholarship. reporting requirements.
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the -- it says that the 7,700 schools across the country had to report who it was that gave them the money. turn them into some kind of super committee. -- super computer. i worked with the schools and the commissioner of the inch r.s. this was a $100 million mandate upon all these schools in the country because nobody took the time to say, what impact will this regulation have upon the schools of the country? this before me is one day of regulation. just one day. in america. just one day in washington. just one more day when the small business people have to read through 500 pages of nine-point-type, dealing with air particulates. then i hear today that, oh, you don't need any relief. it's not necessary.
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regulations are good. and then we take a look at the impact that this has, the financial impact that it has on the small businesses today. s that great bill, it's long overdue, and as a former chairman of the small business committee, i say it's about time and our colleagues on the other side should vote unanimously for this bill. thank you. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: i'm glad my friend is still on the floor because he asked about what do the doctors have to say about this? the doctors support the bill. and i'd like to call up the american lung association, the center for science in the public interest, do not agree with you and agree with our position on the bill. the environmental -- just a
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minute, i'll be pleased to yield. the environmental defense fund, the friends of the earth, the union of concerned scientists are all in agreement with us. and so, i want you to know that the medical people that have spoken about this bill are not in support of it and i will yield briefly to you. >> thank you for yielding, first of all, the doctors i talked to, the experts themselves, i talk to them on a continuous basis, they are very upset with more regulations. mr. conyers: these are not lobbyists, these are organizations that do not -- i don't know if they have any offices here but the union of
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concerned scientists probably don't have any lobbyists. nor does the american -- i doubt if the american lung association does. your side has far more time than my side does. and i would yield back the balance of my time. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, we are prepared to close and so i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. and say that i too am prepared to close on this side. ladies and gentlemen of the house, we have two starkly opposing views of what this bill
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does. i have over 70 organizations that are from the labor movement , from the health movement, from the science world, from the women's law center, from the union of concerned scientists, all telling us that this is a very dangerous process that we are involved in, that the results wouldn't be that the authors of this amendment intended to harm people or that they intended to produce unsafe air products or that they were supporting making the air unbreathable, but that is the
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result of this bill. i want -- it's been stated twice on the other side that we have -- accusing you of bad intent. i don't do that. and i want you to be very clear, it's no not a matter that -- it's not matter that your intentions are not honorable but the results of a bill like 527 would clearly -- create unsafe products. it would ultimately produce air that is more polluted than the air that we're dealing with now. it would delay the promulgation of regulations that we need. it is exactly going in the wrong way because we -- -- we as a matter of fact need to have more
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regulations surrounding products. particularly children's toys. we want the air to be much better than it is. and so i urge my colleagues to examine the premises, starkly different, that have been presented here today, to join us in turning back and sending back to the committee a bill that would make our health much more endangered. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, job creation is the key to economic recovery and small businesses are america's main job creators. but overregulation kills jobs and is especially burdensome for small businesses. anyone who doesn't believe that probably hasn't spent much time in the private sector.
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even president obama, who has not spent much time in the private sector, wrote in a "wall street journal" op ed and recognized that overregulation, quote, stifles innovation, end quote, and has, quote, a chilling effect on growth and jobs, end quote. it has been 15 years since congress last updated the regulatory flexibility act of 1980. experience during that time reveals that further reforms are necessary. the regulatory flexibility improvements act of 2011 makes carefully targeted reforms to the current law, to ensure that agencies properly analyze how a new regulation will effect small businesses before adopting that regulation. in the current economic climate, with millions of americans looking for work, we simply cannot afford to overburden small businesses with more wasteful or inefficient
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regulations. i urge my colleagues to support the bill, look forward to its passage. and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman yields back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for 10 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise today in support of h.r. 527, the
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regulatory flexibility act of 2011. and i was an original co-sponsor and i want to thank chairman smith for the opportunity to work with him on this very important piece of legislation. opponents will argue that the bill stops agencies from issuing regulations, however in reality h.r. 527 will force agencies to consider how their actions affect small businesses and other small entities. more importantly, if the affects are significant, -- effects are significant, agencies, not small entities, will have to develop less burdensome and costly alternatives. shouldn't a government understand the consequences of its regulations? of course it should. and by doing so the government may arrive at a more efficient and less costly way to regulate. mr. graves: in a nutshellshell, that is what this does. some may argue that agencies already do this when they draft regulations however nearly 30 years of experience with the regulatory flexibility act or the r.f.a. shows that agencies are not considering the consequences of their actions and it is about time that they
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start doing that. government regulations do have consequences. small businesses must expend scarce and vital capital complying with these rules. if there's a better way to achieve what an agency wants while imposing lower costs on small businesses, the sensible approach would be to adopt a lower cost mythology. this would allow small businesses to meet the requirements imposed by regulators while freeing up scarce resources to expand their businesses and hire more workers. h.r. 527 ensures the consideration of consequences of rule making through the removal of loopholes that the agencies have used to avoid compliance with the r.f.a. in addition the bill will require closer consideration of the impact of rules on small businesses and other small entities. yet nothing, nothing in h.r. 527 will prevent an agency from issuing a rule. it just stops the government from issuing a rule without understanding its effect on america's business creators or america's job creators, small
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businesses. with that i'd urge my colleagues to carefully or to support this very carefully crafted measure to improve the federal regulatory process and with that i will reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. velazquez: reducing the cost of regulation is a very important issue. but it's not going to turn the economy around. in order for this to happen, businesses need to see more customers coming through their doors. and not just during their holiday season we are now in. with this in mind, it is necessary to create an environment where regulations are not overburdening small businesses, as they do in fact bear the largest burden. these entrepreneurs face an annual regulatory cost of
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$10,585 per employee which is 36% higher than the regulatory costs facing large firms. and this brings us to the bill before us. too often on the house floor legislation is painted as either being totally perfect or completely awful. with this bill, neither of these characterizations is appropriate. in fact, on many fronts, h.r. 527 contains several very positive provisions and will make a real difference for small businesses. many of the provisions were previously advanced by democrats in the small business committee. and for this, chairman graves and chairman smith and their staff should be commended. for instance, the bill makes agencies' regulatory analyses more detailed so they cannot simply overlook their obligations to small businesses.
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it also gives real teeth to periodic regulatory lookbacks which requires agencies to review outdated regulations that remain on the books. agencies will also be required to evaluate the entire impact of their regulations, something that is long overdue. and it cannot go without mention that the bill brings the i.r.s. under the purview of the i.f.a. -- r.f.a. this is a realism pro. sfor small firms -- real improvement for small firms who undoubtedly benefit from greater scrutiny of complex and burdensome tax laws. these are all constructive changes that will bring real relief to entrepreneurs. with that said, there are other items in this legislation that leave you scratching your head. adding 50 new agencies to the process is a recipe for
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disaster. such a dramatic change will require new bureaucratic processes, more staff and more paperwork. it must be ironic for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that this bill reduces federal regulations by dramatically expanding the role and scope of government. in fact, h.r. 527 creates more government as a means to limit government. how does that make sense? it also applies less flex to land management plans, something i have never heard small businesss complain about in my 18 years on the committee. doing so will enable covert interests to challenge land use deficients would could have -- which could have adverse consequences for the environmental stewardship of public lands.
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the reality is that it was just not intended to cover these actions and it should not do so going forward. finally, it is important to note that it the office of advocacies have traditionally been minimal. with a budget of $9 million and 46 employees. according to c.b.o., its budget will have to increase by up to 200% per year to handle the new responsibility of h.r. 527. it is already taxed in admitting its current role and expanding its powers is well beyond its capacity. members are well aware of the fiscal constraints facing the u.s. government. now is not the time to make costly statutory lips when smaller steps might be more appropriate. so in conclusion there are some
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good and some not so good things in this bill. i want to acknowledge the efforts by the bill's manager, but in the end it is not something i could support given the imposition of too many questionable policies. however, i want to thank chairman graves for being open to discussion and i look forward to continuing our dialogue on this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i would yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from new york's 24th district, mr. hanna. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. hanna: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 527, the regulatory flexibility improvements act. the small businesses i meet on a regular basis tell me that regulation has become an overwhelming problem. small business owners are the backbone of the american
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economy. i know this because i'm a small business owner, like so many my life was built by a belief in hard work, free enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit and to get out of the bed in the morning and do what i love to do, as you know yourself, mr. speaker. the pro pod rans of -- preponderance of regulation is stifling that experience. this country can't do well unless small businesses do well. they provide the jobs, the growth, the opportunity for the rest of society. small businesses are drowned be in regulation -- drowneding in regulation. federal agencies should periodically review their rules to ensure that regulations are not undulyy burdensome. as with the 1099 reporting provision and the 3% withholding rule, the law of unintended consequences can be crippling. fortunately this house has repealed both.
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we all afree regulations are absolutely necessary to protect the public good but we need to ep sure that regulations reflect a proper mans that does not unreasonably hinder entrepreneurship, job creation, and innovation. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the yom from new york is recognized. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the ranking member on the judiciary. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. mr. conyers: i thank the gentlelady from new york. my friend on the other side, who is managing the bill, from missouri, i was happy to hear you say that this measure that we are examining does nothing
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to hinder the rule making process. i'd like to help you out in that area, if i may. because this expands in the bill the use of small business review panels to include rules promulgated by all agencies and to include all major rules. i would say to the gentleman from missouri that right now, there are only three rules, there are only three agencies that are affected. what this does, my friend, is extend the review process to every agency.
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do you recognize, sir, that there are over 50 agencies in the federal system? and so for it to be thought that this isn't going to change much is a grievous mistake and of course i am here to help you out to the extent that i can. the other thing that it does, and you think that this will not change the rule making process, is that this measure would force agencies to engage in speculative analysis including an assessment of all reasonably foreseeable, indirect economic effects of a proposed rule.
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the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: i yield such time as he may consume to the chairman of the subcommittee on investigative oversight and regulations, mr. coffman from colorado's sixth. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. coffman: thank you, mr. speaker, i request permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. regulations are currently sucking the life out of our businesses and entrepreneurs. according to the small business administration, regulations cost the american economy $1.75 trillion annually. the obama administration has issued 200 such regulations that are expected to cost our economy at least $100 million each.
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and seven of these regulations have a price tag of other $1 billion. the president has long touted the job creation of a so-called stimulus. but every $1 million increase in the federal regulatory budget costs 420 private sector jobs for hardworking americans. this is why i am urging passage of house resolution 527, the regulatory flexibility improvements act of 2011. this legislation will give reel teeth to the regulatory flexibility act of 1980 which mandated that agencies first assess the economic impact of their regulations on small businesses before going forward with them. it is time to put small businesses first. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the yom from new york is
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recognized. ms. velazquez: may i inquire how much time each side has? the chair: the gentlewoman has three minutes. ms. velazquez: and the other side? mr. graves: five minutes. ms. velazquez: i'm going to yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. velazquez: i want to do this because i need to set the record straight regarding the previous member who just spoke about how many regulations have been issued on the obama administration. let me remind people here that according to the conservative heritage foundation, net regulatory burdens increased in the years george w. bush assumed the presidency between 2008 and -- between 2001 and 2008, the federal government imposed almost $30 billion in new regulatory costs on american, about $11 billion
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imposed in fiscal year 2007 alope. with regard to the numb of pages of regulations, the code of federal regulations totaled 145,000 pames in 2007 alone. the obama administration issued an executive order, 13563, and a memorandum on small businesses and job creation an executives -- and the executive order instructed them to seek the views of affected entities prior to proposed rule making and it calls on agencies to engage in periodic reviews of existing regulations. so -- 15 seconds more. if we come here and instead of dealing with the issues impacting small businesses and that is access to affordable
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care so they have access to job but rather oppose the obama administration for setting regulations. let's set the record tathe and talk about the regulations urn the republican administration. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. does the gentlelady have any more speakers? -- mr. graves: does the gentlelady have any more speakers? ms. velazquez texas -- ms. velazquez: i have one more. how much time do i have left? the chair: the gentlelady has two minutes. the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: it is clear when i have the ranking member of the small business committee who has an enormous commitment to small businesses and the
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ranking member of the judiciary committee opposing this bill, we obviously know it is problematic. what i know of small businesses is that they frankly want to have an anchor to promote and propel their business needs. the regulatory scheme and the underlying premise of this bill is to eliminate any anchor for our small businesses and when you do that, you are clearly undermining their growth and opportunity. i would add as well that i challenge as to whether or not this debate today creates any opportunity for small business, provides them access to credit, guarantees any loans, creates any jobs, absolutely not. it is absurd that we would suggest that agencies that are trying to promote small businesses are stopping small businesses and therefore we want to implode the regulatory scheme. the a.p.a. provides an opportunity for due process through the court system. if our colleagues have problems with regulations, they can run
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to the courts. you don't have to implode the process to be able to address the problem. let's help small businesses, let's discuss how to create jobs and let's vote against this legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: -- the chair: gentleman from new york is recognized for three quarters of a minute. ms. velez kezz: since its inactment in 1980, it has evolved over time to include new tools, expanding its purview and making a difference for intrep muirs across the country. with this important role in mind the legislation before us makes some essential changes. however, in other areas, the bill goes too far. at a time of mowning deficits and growing taxpayer anger at how tone deaf congress has become, h.r. 527 will
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dramatically expand the federal bureaucracy at a cost of $80 million. for this reason, i urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, the gentlelady from -- my colleague from the small business committee pointed out that the bush administration added $60 pl in regulatory burdens out there, which is not a good thing at all. that scares me in and of itself. in eight year he is had $60 billion in extra -- extra regulations. the obama administration added $40 billion in only three years. at the rate it's on it will far outweigh any administration. my point is i don't care what administration it is, i don't care if it's republican or democrat, i want to make sure the agencies ply with the regulatory flexibility act and
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make sure they take into account how much it will stop small businesses when they're implementing these ridiculous regulations we're asking small business staff to comply with. some of this stuff is outrageous and it needs to be -- it needs to be studied or taken care of or it needs to be stopped. these agencies, and again, i don't care what administration it is. they immediate to have to ply with this and understand what the consequences are. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and yield pack the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule the bill shall p considered for emmitt amount under the five-minute rule. in lue of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee of the judiciary and small business printed in the bill it shah shall be in order to consider as an original bill an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print dated november 18, 2011. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be
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considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 112-296. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall p debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number one printed in part a of house report 112-296. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number one printed in part a of house report 112-296 offered by mr.
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critz of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 477, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. critz, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. critz: trade is critical to the growth of small business. a quarter million u.s. companies export to foreign markets, the large majority of them small and medium-sized interprizes that employ 500 or fewer workers. according to the u.s. chamber of mers, more than 230,000 small and medium enterprises now account for nearly 0% of u.s. merchandise exports. the numb of such countries exporting has more than dull doubles since -- doubled since 1992. 90% of the world's customers live outside the u.s., representing 2/3 of the world's purchasing power. we need to make sure that trade agreements assist small businesses. they should help reduce red
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tape and increase transparency that too often small businesses like the resources and foreign business partners available to large companies to navigate through opaque customs and legal systems to reach their customers. numerous fees and other barriers that can be no more than a nuisance to large companies can be deal breakers for small companies. they need to provide measures so small u.s. exporters canned participate in foreign markets. trade agreements must also open up opportunities for small u.s. exporters to compete for government contracts. u.s. companies should be given a fair shake at the important government procurement market in these foreign countries. such afreepts can help low they are threshold at which contracts must be put out for competitive bid, assuring that even small companies can be part of the process. some of those can be ideally
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suited to smaller u.s. companies. my amendment makes sure that small businesses are not forgotten when trade agreements are implemented. it requires that agencies' regulatory flexibility, analysis assess the cumulative impact of any rules stemming from the implementation of a free trade agreement this will make sure that smalm firms' voices are part of the process in these deliberations. they can use them as a means to access foreign markets and customers. i ask members to vote yes on this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment even though i do not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i support this amendment. the amendment aims to require an agency to account for rules implementing the free trade agreement's when the agency considers the cumulative impact on a proposed rule. i support free trade because i
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believe it's in the best of americans, consumers alike. the gentleman from pennsylvania may differ on this issue. it can't hurt to make sure that agencies consider the impact of rules regarding the free trade agreement's in their calculations. i don't think the analysis will show that free trade will hurt small businesses. quite opposite is the fact. but that's not the reason to do the analysis. we should know how these contribute to the regulatory burden on small businesses. in conclusion, mr. chairman, i do support this amendment and hope to have the gentleman from pennsylvania's support for the bill on final passage. and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. critz: i rise only to urge a yes vote on my amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from
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pennsylvania. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 112-296. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 112-296 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 477, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chair.
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mr. chairman, i'm rising today to call upon the rational and reasonable thinking of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and really discuss an amendment that speaks the obvious. the underlying bill puts into process a regulatory scheme that delays the implementation of regulations. whether you agree or disagree with that approach, we all recognize that securing the homeland continues to be a top priority for this nation. i'm standing alongside of some of our first responders looking over one of the nation's major ports. many who live in those areas recognize the vulnerability of america through her ports or aviation or mass transit or highways or bridges or dams. every moment after 9/11 is a new
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moment in this nation, and my amendment simply says to waive the provisions of this bill, h.r. 527, when it deals with homeland security. i hold in my hand the national security threat list that lists the issues that our homeland security department and intelligence communities have to address. the listing is not classified so i'll mention the many tasks that they have to address. terrorism, espionage, proliferation, the moving forward on the question of economic espionage, targeting the national infrastructure, cybersecurity. why would we want to interfere with the movement of regulation to protect the homeland under the premise of this bill? i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee that would waive its provisions in light of protecting the homeland. i reserve the balance of my
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time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: mr. chairman, i oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i'm prepared to close so i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from texas. the gentlelady from texas still has three minutes. ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman, let me again appeal to the bipartisanship of my colleagues. this is a very troublesome bill, and this bill interferes with the normal process, if you will, of dealing with the regulatory scheme. although it's called the regulatory flexibility act, i can assure you that the purpose of this legislation is, one, not to create jobs, and certainly not to help secure the homeland. the bill would add new rate requirements to an already long and complicated process,
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allowing special interest lobby yists to second guess respective scientists and staff through legal challenges sparking a wave of litigation. this is what homeland security regulations would have to go through. since the creation of the department of homeland security in 2002 and since my membership on the committee that was a select committee, we've overhauled the government in ways never done before. steps have been taken to ensure that the communication failures that led to 9/11 are corrected. more than 220 million tons of cargo moved, for example, through the port of houston in 2010. that cargo has to be inspected. and the port ranked first in foreign water-borne tonnage mother the fourth consecutive year. just imagine a regulation that deals with the scanning or security of that tonnage to be interfered with by h.r. 527. if coast guard intelligence had evidence of a potential attack on the port of houston and they wanted the department of homeland security to address it or they use their regulation or there was a regulation in
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process, then it would have to be stopped by this legislation. it is important to recognize that homeland security is not security by appointment. it is not security by let me address regulations by having them vetted by h.r. 527. this is a commonsense amendment that simply says as it deals with the homeland security or the securing of our nation, as we look to be better than what occurred on 9/11 where agencies were not communicating with each other, where the fault of the cybersecurity system did not work and we had the heinous tragedy of losing 3,000-plus of our souls in new york city, as we see the franchising of terrorism where there is the shoe bomber and the christmas day bomber and the times square bomber, it's important not to have a fettered homeland security department in a regulatory process that is stopped by overlying
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legislation. this legislation is a job killer. we already know. let's not let it be a killer of americans because it gets in the way of homeland security efforts doing the work that is necessary. i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee amendment that asks simply for a waiver of this legislation as it addresses the question of securing the homeland and the regulatory scheme that is needed by intelligence agencies, our border practice troll agencies, t.s.o.'s that deals with aviation security, our cargo mptors, as it relates to that -- inspectors, as it relates to that front line, let us waive that legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: the bill only requires agencies to deal what common sense and law dictates it should be doing right now. the department of homeland security is not exempt from the regulatory flexibility act. like other agencies, the department should analyze how a
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new regulation will affect small businesses before issuing the regulation. if the department needs to issue a regulation in a true emergency situation, such as one involving national security, it can already do so under the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking in the administrative procedure act. this good cause exception would allow the agency to bypass the analysis required by the regulatory flexibility act as well. as written, the amendment would exempt the department from h.r. 527 but not from the regulatory flexibility act itself. the result of this would be two versions of the regulatory flexibility act that play on the federal government. one for the department and one for everyone else. small businesses do not need any more confusion and uncertainty when they are trying to participate in the federal regulatory process. for these reasons i oppose the amendment and yield back the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlelady. ms. jackson lee: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by offered by the gentlelady from texas will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part a of house rule 112-296. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk. the clerk: amendment number -- the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in part a of house resolution 296 offered by mr. cohen of tennessee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 477, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. cohen: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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when it relates to food safety, workplace safety, consumer product safety, air quality and water quality, things we hold dear, things that will be jeopardized if this bill passes. as i noted in my opening remarks, this halts agencies to promulgate rules that adds requirements for them to challenge agency rulemaking. you should challenge this but courts shouldn't smareyarl -- smarely throw them out. the societal cost of enacting 527 would place public health and safety at risk. as we enter this holiday season it will be well to reason in the season we take for granted that the food we eat and the water we drink and the drinks we drink at all our holiday dinners and receptions won't kill us or sicken us because of effective rulemaking. likewise, we can take for granted toys given to children
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and grandchildren won't poison them because of strong regulations. but a the consequences of failing to regulate can be dire. in 2006, 24-year-old gillian castro became gravely ill after eating spinach. her organs were rapidly deteriorating. her red blood cells and platelets were dropping and she was about to die. millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths each year in this country can be traced to contaminated food. the centers for disease control and prevention estimates that food borne microorganisms cause 48 million illnesses, 3,000 deaths. many of these could be avoided with proper regulations from food and drug. that's why i ask that food safety be eliminated from this bill because it will be expensive to treat these people. let alone the fact they will die. the c.d.c. estimates salmonella
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alone affects 50 million people a year. just this year the food and drug administration issued a recall of grape tomatoes because of potential salmonella. and also the liss tearia tainted cantaloupe in october. cars to accelerate unexpectedly and resulted in a recall of nearly two million vehicles. matel recalled two million toys in 2007 because it was covered in lead paint. public health and safety precautions have been on the books for a long time and passed with bipartisan support. and the fact is there were more regulations during president bush's term than there were during president obama's overall when you calculate the time they've been in office. but there was no call when president bush was in to cut back. there is only when president obama's in office. the drug act was enacted in 1906 by teddy roosevelt.
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food, drug and cosmetics in 1908. and another one when richard nixon was president. the clean air act was enacted in 1977. if h.r. 527 is enacted without adopting this amendment we can no longer take precautions from these harms for granted because in the future agencies will be hamstrung from passing regulations to protect the public. i would urge us to pass this amendment and protect our workers, our consumers, our small businesses, our small business people when they eat their breakfast, their lunch and their dinner, when they buy their toys for their children and grandchildren, when they drive their cars and when they work in their workplaces. i yield back the balance of my time and ask for a positive vote. the chair: the gentleman yields back. with claims time in opposition? mr. smith: i a pose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman veck niced for fife minutes.
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mr. smith: even this president and his regular willer to czar admit overregulation hampers job creation. the regulatory act of 1980 is based on the fact that regulatory plines is especially costly for small businesses, america's main job creators. we have no room for error when it kohls to -- comes to overregulation. the bill ensures that all agencies follow the regulatory flexibility act. h.r. 527 does not ask agencies to do anything they should not be doing already right now. there is no reason to create the blanket exemptions opposed -- imposed by this amendment. there are no such exemptions currently for the categories or rules described in the amendment. further, it would create tremendous confusion among agencies and small businesses regarding which version of the law would apply to future rule making. we need less confusion and uncertainty, not more in the
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regulatory process. if the amendment stems from a concern about the ability of agencies to make rules in emergency situations, i would note once again that agencies may avail themselveses of the good cause exception to the notice and comment rule making process already in the administrative procedure act. if an agency justifiably invokes this exemption, it will not have to conduct the analysis required under the regulatory flexibility act. i oppose the amendment and yield back the plans of my time. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. cohen: i yield back the remainder of my time. choi the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas yielded back his time? mr. smith: i yielded back. the chair: the question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from tennessee. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. mr. cohen: i request the yeas
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and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number four printed in part a of the house report 112-296. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. chairman i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number four offered by mr. peters of michigan. the chair: the gentleman from michigan, mr. peters, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. peters: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: so recognized. mr. peters: there is no question that congress must act immediately to help our nation's small businesses succeed, create jobs, and boost our economy. unfortunately, instead of moving common sense legislation
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to extend the payroll tax cut for middle class families and enacting the american jobs act to help small businesses afford new hires and investments, we are today considering h.r. 527, the regulatory flexibility improvements act this legislation, while it is well intentioned is a step in the wrong direction. in addition to making it more difficult for agencies to take action to protect workers and the public, it will also slow down agency guidance that could help create certainty and spur job creation. this bill will create paralysis by analysis by subjecting any action an agency proposes to a lengthy regulatory process. even agency guidance issued to small businesses clarifying how they can comply with existing rules will be slowed down consider pli. this is why i put forward and amendment to improve this bill and cut through the additional red tape that it creates when it matters most and that's when
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new jobs are on the line. my amendment simply says that the new administrationive hurdled this -- hurdles this bill creates will not apply to any rule, final rule, or guidance that the director of o.m.b. determines will result in net job creation. while my republican colleagues keep repeating the story that new regulations are slowing down our economic growth, this simply isn't the case. a recent study by the national federation of independent businesses of its members found that poor sales and not regulation is the biggest problem facing businesses today. effective regulations can promote job growth and put americans back to work. as someone living in southeast michigan, i've seen firsthand the way increased fuel economy standards have made american autos more competitive while saving drivers money on gas an helping our environment. according to the united auto workers and the national resources defense council, these new standards have let to
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-- led to the creation of 100,000 jobs. whether it's providing small businesses with the guidance they made so they can have the certainty while making investment an hiring decision os enacting environmental reforls to help bring about the next generation of green technology, the federal government cannot waste any more time dragging its feet when it comes to job creation. for year,000,000 friends on the other side of the aisle have repeatedly railed against government red tape. but let's be clear, if they oppose this amendment, they will be voting to create more red tape and stymy small business job creation. i urge my colleagues to support this common sense, pro-jobs amendment. i yield back my time, mr. chairman. the chair: does the gentleman yields back or is he reserving his time? mr. peters: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes to claim time in opposition. mr. smith: i'm prepared to close, i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from
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michigan. the gentleman from michigan has two minutes remaining. mr. peters: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to point out that the national federation of independent businesses actually does support this legislation. also i'd like for the record to show that a recent gallup poll taken on october 24 of this year said that small business owners themselves cite, quote, complying with government regulations, end quote, as their most important problem. that's why we are here today. mr. chairman, i oppose this amendment because it puts the cart before the horse. the reason we require agencies to conduct regulatory flexibility analysis is so the agencies and the republic will know how new regulation -- regulation will affect small business before the agency issues the regulation. the agency would exempt any rule that would result in net job creation. we certainly know that
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regulations can destroy jobs, etch the administration acknowledges that. whether regulations can truly create jobs is something else altogether. assuming it can create jobs, an agency won't know this without analysis first, which is what they require agencies to do. there is no good reason to transfer this responsibility to conduct this analysis from the agencies themselves to the office of management and budget as the amendment proposes. for these reasons, i oppose the amendment and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. peters: mr. chairman, i request the yeas and nays. the chair: the gentleman requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the
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gentleman from michigan will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number five printed in part a of house report 112-296. for what purpose does the gentlewoman -- does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number five printed in part a of house report 112-296, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the yom from texas. ms. jackson lee: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to think our colleagues are in their offices communicating with their constituents and doing much of the work we do, writing probably other great ledge slave -- legislative niche tiffs and they are paying attention to this debate and they keep hearing the words
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small businesses and they want to know why would any of us have a disagreement about small businesses when we have, i think, we have a consensus that small businesses are in fact the back bone of america. they are the job creators of america. i recall many of us have initiatives, i have an initiative of visitting small businesses and just a couple of weeks ago, i donned the clothing of a medical practice, i went to a beauty school an tried to do a little bit of hair design. went to an energy company. went ton a small export-import company and i stood out as a safety officer for a construction company owned by a single mother. so we all speak the language of small businesses and you would think that my good friends on the other side of the aisle would have looked more closely at how damaging h r. 527 is. for those who may be listening in their offices and others,
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right now, you have a three-agency framework of reviewing regulations dealing with small businesses. now you're going to include that all the agencies have to get into the act in stifling small businesses' activities an their growth and opportunity. remember, now, right now we have three, then we're going to open up the lot so that every agency now has to go through a regulatory process to determine its impact on small businesses. it expands the use of small business review panels to include rules promulgated by all agent sis, include all major rules and some of these, of course, having the positive impact on our maul businesses. what is the significant economic impact? nobody knows. it forces companies to engage in wasteful, speculative am sis and imposes further requirements on the agencies. i have a simple amendment. ask the question beforehand what is the economic impact of
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all this vast new inclusion of other agencies to come down on our small businesses? it requires my amendment, a g.a.o. study to determine the cost of carrying out this bill and the effect it will have on federal agency rule making. simple, bipartisan amendment. ski my colleague it is join me in supporting it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. does the this gentleman from texas clail time in opposition in mr. smith i do, i oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five mins. mr. smith: i'm prepared to close, i are e-- i reserve the balance of my time the chair: the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: thank you. let me continue to look for bipartisanship. i'm hoping i can convince my friend from texas to not desire to have a can of worms, a potpourri of agencies, coming out with the hand of oppression on small businesses. this is a simple question that
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i'm asking. thee g.a.o., the government accountability office, simply would be asking the question, what is the sig capt economic impact on a substantial number of small entities which will greatly slow down the rule making process and substantially empower other competitors to small businesses to throw sand in the geefers rule making that will help small businesses, woman-owned businesses, note-owned businesses, disabled veterans, what is the reason for not agrees to an important study? it forces agencies to engage in wasteful, speculative analysis, including all foreseeable effects. we can do it ahead of times. -- ahead of time. will this kill job? -- jobs? it includes jew tirble reviews to include all agency actions, not just final action.
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mr. chairman, can we not find an opportunity to come together on this? i would much rather have a report to tell me how many small businesses will shut down waiting for agency review of the rules that will be helpful to them. and we engage in the small business committee, has anyone asked the ranking member of that committee, even the chairman of that committee, who are champions of small business. -- business? i don't think i've seen the chair penn but i see the ranking member who listens to small businesses across the cupry. if there's a regulation that's going to help a small business, this biffle kills it. the small businesses hanging on for dear life, pass the rule, pass the rule, now you put in all these agencies, dilly dalying around, trying to find a way to stifle the growth of the small business. mr. chairman, common sense tells members that it doesn't hurt to have just this one,
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bipartisan effort to get the answer of the economic impact beforehand. down in texas we say close the barn door before the cow gets out. or the cart before the horse. the horse before the cart. we've got all of that. we've got confusion. i'm simply having a simple amendment that would allow the g.a.o. to report on how we can better serve our small businesses and create job -- create the jobs that are necessary. i ask my colleagues, including mr. smith to support this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: so recognized. mr. smith: i oppose this because it is unnecessary and would result in a biased study by the government accountability office. the study focuses excessively on costs to agencies to comply with the regulatory act and how it would affect their ability
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to pass new regulations. it would lead to better regulations which is where our focus should be. it is worthwhile to require agencies to finally comply with the law. that is especially true if it means that agencies will reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and free small businesses to create jobs. in the future i'd certainly like to know whether agencies comply with the regulatory flexibility act, as amended by this bill, or whether they'll remain disobedient. this amendment, however, favors the idea that the bill places too heavy a burden on regulators. fundamentally, the purpose of the regulatory flexibility act is to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses, not on agencies. job creators, not job regulators, are the key to our economic recovery. mr. chairman, for these reasons i oppose the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back his time. the question is on the amendment
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offered by the gentlewoman from texas. those in favor say aye. ayes will be sufficient. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. jackson lee: i'd like to have a vote on the yeas and nays, please. the chair: the gentlelady requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18 further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in part a of house report 112-296. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. johnson: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in part a of house report 112-296 offered by mr. johnson of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 477, the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, and a member opposed, eave will
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control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of my amendment. this radioactive bill called the rellinglatory flex ict improvement -- regulatory flexibility improvements act. i want this house to consider my amendment for the following:. the f.d.a., food and drug administration, food safety modernization act became law in general of this year, january 4 of this year. it was necessitated by a continuing series of incidents such as the october, 2009, stephanie smith incident which i will tell you a little bit about. she's a children's dance instructor from minnesota and
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became partially paralyzed from e. coli. according to a "new york times" article, "the frozen hamburgers that the smiths ate which were made by the food giant cargil were labeled, quote, american chefs selection, angus beef patties." yet, confidential grinding laws shows that the hamburgers were actually made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in wisconsin. the ingredients came from slaughterhouses in nebraska, texas and, get this, uruguay, and from a south dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with, get this, ammonia, to kill the bacteria.
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stephanie has sued cargil and i know that many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would want to limit her ability to recover for this injury through misguided so-called tort reform, but getting back to this matter, this amendment is simple. it would ensure that americans have access to safe and untainted food. it would create an exception for any rulemaking that seeks to carry out the f.d.a. food safety modernization act. every year one in six americans get sick from food borne diseases. the f.d.a. food safety modernization act enables the f.d.a. to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. this bill would make it virtually impossible for the federal agencies to protect public health and safety. nobody likes to be tied up in
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red tape, but this bill would bring regulations to a halt and make it virtually impossible to enact new regulations. currently rulemaking agencies must make an analysis for every new rule that would have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities such as small businesses. however, agencies have the authority to waive or delay this analysis in emergency situations. now, this bill, mr. speaker, would require agencies to determine the indirect cost a rule has on a business and it would repeal the authority of an agency to waive or delay this analysis in response to an emergency that makes timely compliance impractical or imprudent. this summer there was a liss tearia outbreak linked to
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cantaloupes that sickened 139 people and killed 29. just today "the washington post" reports that consumer reports released an alarming study that found high levels of arsenic in samples of orange juice. consumer reports is now calling on the f.d.a. to set standard for arsenic standards for apples and grape juices. the consumer reports group is now suggesting that parents restrict juice consumption to children up to 6 years old to no more than six ounces per day. for older children it recommends no more than 12 ounces per day. now is not the time to hamper agencies such as the f.d.a. that are charged with keeping the american public safe. if there is a legitimate concern that our food supply may be tainted, the f.d.a. needs the authority to act quickly and without delay. it's essential that the f.d.a.
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have the ability to conduct inspections as well as prevention programs without having to go through speculative paralysis of analysis of a proposed rule, nor should the f.d.a. be forced to rejustify existing rules. mr. speaker, i urge support for my amendment and i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. chairman, i oppose this amendment because it carves out an exemption to the bill for regulations under the food and drug administration. if agencies were going and doing the depth of preregulatory analysis they are supposed to be doing under the regulatory flexibility act then we wouldn't be here today. small businesses create jobs and jobs are the key to economic recovery. to help small businesses, like
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minority-owned restaurants, for example, create jobs we need to reduce, not increase, the regulatory burden on them. the f.d.a. is not currently exempt from the regulatory flexibility act so it makes no sense to exempt it from the f.d.a. from the bill either. this amendment would also create confusion within the f.d.a. by exempting only its responsibilities under the food safety modernization act from this bill. there should not be two versions of the regulatory flexibility act in play at the f.d.a. for these reasons i oppose the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. johnson: mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: the gentleman asks for a recorded vote.
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pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia will be postponed. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part a of house report 112-296 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order -- amendment number 2 by ms. jackson lee of texas, amendment number 3 by mr. cohen of tennessee, amendment number 4 by mr. peters of michigan, amendment number 5 by ms. jackson lee of texas, amendment number 6 by mr. johnson of georgia. the chair will reduce to two minutes the minimum time for electronic vote after the first series of votes. so the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 112-296 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house
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report 112-296 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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